ECHA started considering the chemical recycling of polymeric materials such as plastics and elastomers from waste. It launches conclusions and recommendations which thought to further develop chemical recycling and reduce plastic pollution – especially as the global production of plastics is expected to expand by 2050.

Erwin Annys, Head of ECHA’s Support and Enforcement Unit says: “It is essential to understand how the various chemical recycling techniques can reduce the occurrence of substances of concern in recycled materials to succeed toxic-free cycles under the circular economy. We also want to understand to what extent this will result in brand new REACH registrations. Ultimately, the report gives an overview on the state of the art of the several chemical recycling processes and the advantages and disadvantages of these practices.”

What is chemical recycling? 

In this chemical recycling, plastic polymers are chemically crashed to supply new products such as crude oil, naphtha , or fuels, which can be used in new plastic products. Chemical recycling can accompany mechanical recycling, i.e., mechanical crushing of plastic into granulates, as it can treat combined and polluted plastic waste that cannot or else be recycled.

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